5 Worst Broken Car Keys

It’s bad news I’m afraid. We’re seeing more and more broken car keys.

Years ago, most of our work came from lost or spare car keys. However recently, we’ve seen a big change. Broken car keys are leaving our readers stranded all over the world, and we’re seeing a pattern.

The problems are many. Blades that no longer flip out, keys that split and fall to pieces. Worst of all there are chips that give up sending a signal and buttons that won’t unlock the car. Broken car keys are such a problem, we wanted to list the worst offenders for you.

5 Worst Broken Car Keys

Vauxhall Insignia, Astra J and similar.

If your car key looks like this, it’s a ticking clock until it breaks I’m afraid. With this key, the most common car key problems are the blade holder fracturing and the blade falling out.

broken car keys

Can Broken Vauxhall car keys be fixed?

Most car key cutting shops will be able to take all your broken bits and put the expensive electronics into a new key shell. Once the key blade is cut to the car, then the key is as good as new. We fix and post our around the UK every week.

Should I fix my broken Vauxhall key myself?

Yes, you can also fix this key yourself easily. They break open without any problem as long as you use the correct tool and follow our video.

Next you need a replacement case, just make sure you get the correct 2 button or 3 button version.

Have you seen the new Vauxhall upgraded key case? Take a look at how to upgrade your broken key.

broken car keys

 

VW, Seat and Skoda Broken car keys

German engineering used to stand for something. Strength, reliability, and the highest quality design and manufacture. Something has gone seriously wrong with broken car keys from these brands.

In 2010, they changed the design, and then problems began. Again, the flip blade holder, the piece that keeps the key blade in place, fractures and the pin gets lost. Most common on VW Transporter and VW Caddy models, we believe the ignition lock feels heavy to turn to the ‘crank’ position. Look out for this if you have one. We’ve written at length about this problem.

Can broken VW, Seat and Skoda Keys be fixed?

Yes, but a word of warning. These keys have a sensitive transponder chip. Our advice is to get a spare car key made, before you start getting your broken car keys fixed.

Also, if the key chip breaks when the key is opened, there’s trouble ahead. When you have no car keys that start your VW, Seat or Skoda car, made after 2010, it can be tricky to get a replacement made easily.

Should I fix my broken VW, Seat or Skoda key myself?

Again, yes, we show you how to do this. You just need a good quality case, and open it with the correct tool know how to do it. But again, there is a chance that the chip will get damaged if you’re heavy handed, so take care.

Damaged chip = No Key Detected = Big trouble

Hyundai and Kia Broken Car keys

We have a YouTube channel and this is our most watched video. Soon to break 450,000 views, there’s a worldwide problem with Kia and Hyundai broken car keys.

Again, the same thing happening. The blade is held into the key by a small metal pin. The blade holder isn’t strong enough. It cracks across the pin hole, then the pin gets lost and the blade falls out.

broken car keys

Even on the newer type of key, the one that replaces the really badly designed key there are similar problems.

 

Can Hyundai and Kia Broken Car Keys be fixed?

Yes, the repair cases are readily. When we fix these by post, we always cut the blade fresh and replace the key battery. We think it’s a better job, and our machine measures the key and then cuts it like new. However, other companies may swap the blade.

Should I fix my broken Kia or Hyundai key myself?

Yes, although quite a lot of care is needed. Inside the key there are two important things. The first is the green circuit board, which does the central locking. The thing that is often missed is the transponder chip.

 

Unlike most new car key, Kia and Hyundai use a separate chip and it is often glued in place to stop it coming loose. To remove it, you need to carefully melt the plastic around it. You can also use side cutters, or a saw, but these are more risky. So just take care if you fix your own key.

Take a look at how we do it in our video.

Ford New Style Broken Car Keys

We used to give our Ford keys a lifetime warranty, they were that good. However, these days it’s almost painful to sell them. Why are the keys so bad? We all like a key blade that flips out, but they are troublesome. This is one of two reasons why Ford broken car keys are so common.

broken car keys

The main culprits are the Ford Custom style flip key. They’ve introduced a weak flip design, and given it to builders, couriers, and tradesmen and women all over the country. In our experience, they last 3-4 years maximum, which is similar to the other brands mentioned above.

Can Ford Broken car keys be fixed?

Tricky one this. We regularly fix the Ford flip keys that are used on the Ford Mondeo and C-Max. The reason these can be done is because they have a simple CR2032 battery inside. This can be replaced easily during the repair. They open easily if you have the correct tool

However, we’ve had issues when we used to offer the postal service on broken Transit and Custom keys. Fixing broken car keys by post always carries a risk that the key won’t work afterwards, and this is what we found.

The key battery is different to any other flip key. It’s soldered into the circuit board and charges as the van drives along.

However, they’ve been poorly designed and manufactured, and we’ve written so much about this stupid idea over the last few years.

To fix the Ford Custom or Transit key, it needs to be broken open with the correct tool. Once it’s open, it should have a new repair case and the blade cut. Of course there’s the problem of changing the rechargeable battery. Click here to watch how we fix these.

Sometimes, after the repair is completed, the buttons still don’t work, and we don’t know why. This is why we no longer offer this service out as part of our broken car keys postal repair service.

Should I fix my broken Ford Flip key myself?

Do you have a spare car key? Can you risk trying to fix it and the van not starting afterwards? This can happen, as with all broken car keys. If you’re happy with soldering and have a good quality soldering iron, then yes, have a go.

If you can’t solder, avoid is our advice, Either use a local repair service or invest the money in a new Transit or Custom key. It will be money that’s better spent.

 

Peugeot and Citroen Broken Car keys

Last but by no means least. Peugeot and Citroen keys were the first we filmed and wrote about. At one point a few years ago, we were fixing 10-15 every week at our shop in Lincoln, completely ridiculous.

broken car keys

Again, the problems include flip blades that wobble and buttons that stop working. However the worst problem with these keys are when the transponder chip dies. Of all the keys we see, Peugeot and Citroen keys of this style are the worst.

Can Peugeot and Citroen Broken Car Keys be fixed?

It depends what’s wrong with the key.

If the blade is wobbly and the case is falling apart, yes it can be re-cased and the blade cut to turn the locks. Choosing a case can be a bit tricky because there are over fifteen variations to choose from.

Our video explains the difference

The next problem is that when the the soft rubber wears, often the electronic switch is broken. On most other brands of broken car keys, the switches can be replaced.

broken car keys

However, we’ve given up replacing switches on these keys because they are so tiny and we had lots of issues. Once the keys gets damaged inside, we recommend a new key.

The last problem, already mentioned is the chip failing after time. You will get a warning about the key becoming unreliable.

broken car keys

As soon as you see this message, get the key fixed, because after a few days or weeks the key will fail altogether and you’ll be stranded for the sake of broken car keys.

Again, although this problem can be fixed, we don’t recommend it.

Should I fix my broken Peugeot or Citroen Flip key myself?

If it’s just a case, go for it. If the buttons still work even though the key is falling apart, you can probably save the key. Watch our video to explain the difference between all the cases.

If there are deeper issues with the buttons or chip, then we’d recommend spending the money on new key before it dies altogether.

How do I find someone locally to help me with broken car keys?

Not all Auto Locksmiths and key cutting shops are equal. Some will be happy to take it on, others will refuse. More importantly, does the company know what they are doing?

Click here to read our guide on how to find a local expert that can help you.

The future isn’t bright I’m afraid. Broken car keys are with us for a while, so will ‘keyless’ cars solve the problem?

Well yes, there are no blades that can break. However, ‘keyless’ cars are the easiest car to steal, so a broken key is the least of your worries. Want to know more about cars getting stolen? Click Here.

Good luck and we hope this has helped you.

 

 

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links.

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Links on this website may lead you to a product or service. They provide an affiliate commission to the owners of this site should you make a purchase. In no way does any affiliate relationship ever factor into a recommendation.  Nor does it alter the integrity of the information we provide.

Please note that we have not been given any free products, services, or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site.  The only consideration is in the form of affiliate commissions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vauxhall Flip key Upgrade

We’ve written about how often Vauxhall keys break, they’re the most common key we fix at our shop in Lincoln. Now we’ve found a new type of case that we wanted to tell you about. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a Vauxhall Flip key upgrade.

The new style case has smooth curved lines and hard wearing buttons that won’t perish like the older style cases. Based on the new range of Vauxhall keys, we believe this Vauxhall Flip key upgrade is worth a look.

What do I need for my Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade ?

Not much, it’s really simple. Firstly you need one of the new style cases. They come in either 2 or 3 buttons, just like the genuine key.

There are only three things that are tricky and we have full instructions below. Here’s a video, plus there are instructions below.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade – Stage One – Get the new key cut

Once you have a case, you need to get the blade cut to suit your car. This should be the first job, as you must make sure you have a new key case that turns the locks, before you break open the old key.

Who can cut my key blade?

There are some issues with getting keys cut. Some of the major key cutting chains refuse to cut keys they haven’t supplied. Our local Timpsons stores in Lincoln won’t entertain any key that’s not come from them, and won’t cut the Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade case.

So look for an independent shop, or an Auto Locksmith.

Need to find a good Auto Locksmith? Click here for our advice, wherever you are in the UK.

When we cut eBay or Amazon keys in our shop, we charge £10 and we believe this is reasonable.

Why can’t I swap the key blade on my Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade?

It’s possible but not straight forward. The key blade is held in to the key body, by a pin. Often, the original key blade from the old case will not fit into the new case. If you want to do this you’ll need to modify the old key blade and this is possible, as the video shows.

video

However, we think it’s easier just to get the key cut.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade – Stage Two – Open the old key.

************* Disclaimer *********

We open up old Vauxhall flip keys all day long at our shop without any problem. However, it’s possible that when the case is opened, the circuit board gets damaged, or the chip fails. When this happens, there’s a chance the car won’t start.

We see Vauxhall flip keys fail even without upgrading or repairing them and have written at length about the problem and the symptoms. So we recommend that you have a spare key, before you decide to carry out your Vauxhall Flip key upgrade.

***********************************

Ok, back to business. This is really easy if you have a set of Circlip pliers.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

These pliers are unusual because the jaws open when you squeeze the handle. They’re perfect to open keys because you can control what you are doing, instead of forcing the case open with a screwdriver etc.

 

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Place the tips of the jaw in the gap by the flip.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Give the handles a squeeze and the case will snap open.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

You’ll need to pull the case apart and carefully remove the green circuit board. That’s it! You’ve done the tricky part. Next is a putting together your Vauxhall Flip key upgrade.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade – Stage Three – Build the new key.

This may take a few attempts. You may feel you need an extra hand! But just be patient and you’ll manage this no problem. Open the case using the Circlip pliers again. Don’t worry if the key all falls apart, we’re going to show you what to do.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Firstly, put the circuit board into the half of the new case that has the buttons. there are small rubber noggins that locate in the holes. Now put this half of the case down now for a minute.

Fit the pin into the blade holder, (it will only fit one way).

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Next the spring needs to go into the blade holder

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Locate the plastic spigot in the case and place the spring over it.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Wind the spring counter-clockwise, we recommend two full turns. Then hold the blade shut.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Now put both pieces of the case together, locating the silver pin first and then lining up the two halves.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Once it’s all lined up, give it a squeeze and it should close up nicely. If there is any resistance, it’s because something isn’t lined up. Just open it up again and check it out.

Then when the case is shut, try the flip-out to make sure that your Vauxhall Flip key upgrade has been a success. Then join the case using the two screws.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Lastly, don’t forget the battery.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Just pop off the battery cover and we recommend a fresh, good quality CR2032. Don’t go cheap.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade Conclusion

Well done, you should have a new flip key case that looks good and works perfectly!

 

 

 

 

 

Help How do I Fix my Broken Astra Key ?

Wondering how to fix your broken Astra key?

There’s good and bad news if you own a Vauxhall Astra J.

broken astra key

The bad news is, they’re the most common key we see that breaks.

The good news is, they’re one of the easiest to fix. Here’s our guide to fix your broken Astra key, saving yourself money.

Broken Astra Key Checklist – What you’ll need

Both parts of the key! If your blade breaks away from the key body, keep it safe. We see lots of people who lose the blade, and that’s bad news.

A Spare Key? We believe that before you try and fix the old key, you should have a standby key to use. The reason is that hen things go wrong with key electronics, you end up stranded.

broken astra key

We have thousands of comments on our key repair YouTube channel, most of which are positive. However, occasionally, someone will complain that the car won’t start after they tried to fix their car key watching our video.

‘Okay great now my car wont start and I ruined my old case too so thank you for your bad advice. Smh people dont risk it’

If you’re not confident, get a spare key before you try and fix your broken Astra key.

Broken Astra Key Video

Here’s the video, if you’d prefer to watch, instead of reading.

What you need to fix your broken Astra key

 

You need a repair case that you’ll swap the electronics into. We prefer the cases that have a screw that keeps both parts together, instead of glue.

 

 

We use them  for hundreds of happy customers in Lincoln and keep getting asked for them on-line. So we’ve added a link to our Amazon store above.

They come with two or three buttons.

Circlip pliers – These are amazing for opening up all broken car keys, and very good when opening your broken Astra key.

When you squeeze the handle, the jaws open and the force will split open the key.

 

Pin Removal punch

This is a luxury that will make swapping the blade over a bit easier.

 

If you don’t have a punch, get the key blade cut instead.

The problem is that many key cutting shops won’t do this if they haven’t supplied the key as well.

and lastly…

Pliers to squeeze the pin back into the new key after you swap the battery, or a small hammer to knock it in.

Patience

This is really important. You have to remember that you’re doing something you’ve never tried before. Whilst it’s fairly simple to do, you need to put some time aside so that your not in a rush to fix your broken Astra key. It’s a bit fiddly and shouldn’t be rushed.

******** Important ********

Broken Astra Key instructions

broken astra key

Before you break open the key case, you need the new key to turn the locks. Imagine breaking your old key open, only to find out you can’t turn the lock with the new key!

Why do I need to swap the blades over first?

Sometimes, the original Vauxhall blade from your broken Astra key is a slightly different shape and will not fit into the new case.

Or, it may need bit of filing to make it fit.

This happens sometimes. The problem is that the repair case is made in a factory across the other side of the world and it’s been designed to accept in the blade that is already fitted to it.

How to swap the Broken Astra Key blade over.

Using the pin removal tool, find somewhere to rest your old flip arrangement that holds the old key blade. There will be some hammering, so make sure it isn’t your best dining table, or wooden kitchen side! They may get damaged.

Knock out the pin from the new blade, and the pin from the old blade and swap over blades.

Remember, they may need a little filing, but don’t force the old blade into the case. If you do this,  you will break the new case.

Do NOT try and use the old blade and hinge in the new key case. It will not work. They’ve been made differently, as the photo shows, and the key will not flick out like it should.

How to Fix your broken Astra Key. Checklist

1    Clear a space, make some room and make a brew, get a beer or whatever is your fancy. We’d recommend turning the TV off so that you can concentrate.

 

2    Place your circlip pliers inside the gap in between both halves of the key. Give them a squeeze, the key will ‘crack’and both parts of the broken Astra key will be apart.

 

3    Pull both parts open enough, so that you can carefully remove the green electronics.

4    Put the electronics from the broken Astra key into the new case.

5    Take the blade and hinge assembly and insert the metal button. It will go it three ways, but only one is correct. When the button drops through and pokes out the other side, then you know it is correct.

6    Pop the spring into the button and then place the other end of the spring over the plastic spigot on the other half of the new case. You then need to wind it around in an anti-clockwise direction.

7    Don’t worry if it takes a few goes to fix your broken Astra key. This is fiddly and we do it all the time and it can still take a few goes. You’ll feel like you need an extra hand, so it may help if you have someone to help you.

8    Once you’ve managed to wind it round, close both halves of the case together.

You’ve almost fixed your broken Astra key!

9    Make sure the blade flips out when you press the silver button. If it doesn’t you need to take it apart again and have another go. It may take a few goes, don’t worry, you can do it!

10    When you get it working, fix both halves together with the screw provided.

11     Pop a new battery in, or use the old one if it is still ok.

12    Replace the battery cover

That’s it! Try it out and check that it works

Well done, you did it.

Any questions? Just comment below and we’ll try and help.